Monday, July 13, 2009

QSC K12's in Venice Beach

On Saturday July 11, I had the opportunity to field test a pair of new QSC K12 on the basketball courts of Venice Beach, CA.  I paired the 12 inch 1000 watt powered speakers with a pair of QSC HPR 181w powered subs; rated at 700 watts each.

The system was very quick and easy to set up.  A small 4 channel Mackie 402-vlz supplied all the inputs, and outputs necessary for the event.  Inputs 1 & 2 were microphones, inputs 3/4 where stereo inputs fed by the fantastic DJ.  The stereo outputs of the Mackie fed the K12's whom erected on 41 inch poles were affixed into the HPR 181w.  

Ricky Martian's 'Shake your Bon Bon" was the audio material I used to sound check, and adjust the gain levels in back of each powered speaker.  As the song started and I walked to the bleachers, to get a better sense of the overall level, I knew the K12's where completely superior sounding to any JBL EON on the market.  But JBL G2's are the most reliable powered speaker I have worked with, would the K12 step up?

By 7 am it was apparent it was gonna be a hot day on the lovely Venice Beach basketball courts, so my biggest concern was, are these speakers gonna overheat, and shut off.  For 95% of the event, I kept the the K12, gain just 2 clicks shy of 12 o'clock.  I noticed the internal fans moving most of the day, and I could feel cool air coming out.  The black abs plastic speaker enclosure did not feel hot either.  Is this magic plastic?  For the last 20 minuets of the event.  I opened the gain on the K12's to 1 or 2 o'clock. 

The QSC HPR 181w paired very well with the K12.  I've always been a fan using 12 inch full range speakers with 18's.   (Pairing 15' inch tops with 18' bottoms has usually sounded a bit muddy/ mirky for me)  Although the Birch Boxes, and the heat sinks on the subs got a bit hot, They paired well with the K12.  On the subs, the over load light went on a could times during a remix of Bob Marly's 'Buffalo Solder', but the tone was a deep, rounded, kicking pulse for such a small box.  So I brought the gains down to -4.

left speaker boxes

right speaker boxes

The K12's speaker, and compression driver sound great, but the DSP features are the K12's secret weapon.  It helped deal with occasional plosives supplied by the voice talent.  Its like a compressor, but its not.  Its like a limiter, but its not.  Its like a multi-band, but its not.   Uniform frequency coverage, clear loud audio, with fantastic throw.  

Conclusion,  after providing 10 hours of DJ music, and Sports narration, in the unforgiving Venice Beach Sun, these boxes performed great.  I need to use them for a few month, but this might be the EON killer.  Did I mention? These little boxes are loud!